Addressing Journalists after the presentation of the Budget, the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, said the 2020 Budget of 1.1trillion is christened, Budget of “Olimpotic Meristemasis” because it is a “rapid growth derived from a spiritual force”, adding, “actually, it’s a complex metephysible realism”. Governor Ayade noted that “when you have an
ambition that is not driven by economic and financial analysis, but a spiritual force beyond the normal, that is “Olimpotic” and is “Meristemasis” because it’s a rapid growth. The Governor likened the process to a “growing child
that grows faster at a very young age and stabilizes at the age of 18 years meaning “Meristemasis”. He maintained that “when that combination is done from the Mental Physics to Biology in the Social Atmosphere, it tantamount
to “Olimpotic Meristemasis”. The Governor argued that “Nigerians don’t see the intellectual value of a very ambitious budget, noting that even “the Federal Government also runs a deficit budgeting”. In an apparent
endorsement of Governor Ayade’s academic tags on his budgets since assuming office as the state’s chief executive, the Speaker of

the CRHA, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams said the presentation of the annual state budget has become exciting and special, stating: ”Apart from the traditional understanding of the income and expenditure accruing in the next fiscal year and the projects proposed for execution, it has become an academic exercise built on an intellectual concept
on expenditure”. Williams recalled that, ”in 2016 we had a Budget of Deep Vision; 2017 brought in Budget of Infinite Transposition; in 2018 we had project of Kinetic Crystallization while 2019 was christened Budget of Qabalistic


with Tax Reliefs For Cross Riverians who have issues with the tongue-twisting and highsounding tag of the 2020
N1.1 trillion Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis that Governor Ben Ayade announced recently, the tax reliefs it offers the less privileged workers and small scale business persons in the state is key. Sir Ayade during the presentation at the State House of Assembly announced plans to set up anti-tax agents to ensure that the tax policy of his administration is sustained in his desire to avoid taxing the needy. “All low income-earning people; civil servants
earning below N100,000.00 will be exempted from tax,” he said, adding that “Small scale businesses like barbing salons, hairdressing and other surviving agencies are hereby exempted from taxation”. Extending his administration’s magnanimity to the transportation sector, the governor abolished the five hundred naira (N500.00) to one thousand naira (N1,000.00) paid daily as levies on taxis plying the state’s roads, indicating they would henceforth pay N2,000.00 monthly.

These reliefs follow in the footsteps of his previous years’ Appropriations, as the state’s chief executive always draws on his humanistic tendencies to assuage the hardship of the common people. According to him, the incoming year’s version is anchored on a belief “in the spiritual force which is the third energy”, explaining that “meristemasis” is the
active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, in this case, the state. “The budget will catalyse into existence a great opportunity for us all to put our hands and legs on the pedal and fill it off,“ he further postulated. Outlay of the 2020 state budget shows capital expenditure of N911 billion representing 82.8 per cent of the whole estimates and
recurrent expenditure of N188 billion standing for the remaining 17.2 per cent. The decision to allocate as much as 82.8 per cent to the capital side of the estimates, Ayade stated, indicated the state’s “aggressive commitment that will continue to reduce recurrent expenditure and focus on capital expenditure.”

A breakdown of the sectors of the proposal shows among others: *Health – N44 billion; *Education – N38 billion; *New Cities Development – N35 billion; *Agriculture – N22 billion and *Social Housing – N12 billion. On the budget size, the governor stated, “We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by the
envelope size is limited in vision. “There are two ways in business and public sector management that you derive your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your budget size or as an expression of your
ambition. “The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting. Our budget prescribes the actual cost element while the intellectual financing shuns the cost because the ambition so expressed allows us the latitude to drive with to ensure that we guarantee that all aspects of the budget so provided are driven,” he alluded. Under the Education sector, the Governor disclosed his administration’s plan of establishing a Canadian institute at Obudu, completing the West African Advanced Teachers Training Institute in Biase, adding
that both schools will be operational in September, 2020.

Governor Ayade further disclosed his plans of continuing his signature projects including the building of a new city in each senatorial district adding that the Bakassi social housing project will be launched on the 1st of December, 2020 while the dualization of Odukpani junction which according to him was suspended due to the rainy season, will
resume soon. The Governor who expressed hope that the state will generate about N360 billion from foreign
investors and N120 billion from Federal Allocation, announced that Cross Riverians both home and abroad as well as non-indigenes residing in the state will pay a premium of one thousand naira (N1,000.00) monthly for the State Health Insurance tagged, Ayade- Care, adding that the state pharmaceutical company, Calapharm will supply free drugs to beneficiaries of the insurance scheme. According to the Governor, Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff is expected to
sign a major contract with the state government for the Garment factory, adding that the other industries including the Rice City and Seedlings factory, the tooth pick factory, poultry factory, cocoa factory among others will generate
substantial revenue for the state. Ayade called on Cross Riverians to key into his massive investment in the Agric
sector by going into farming, adding that ”everybody must own a farm”.

He commended the Speaker and Members of the State Assembly for the co-operation and support received from them, while describing the relationship as ”copetitors” and not competitors. Earlier, in a welcome address, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Eteng Jonah Williams said the six-month old 9th Assembly has recorded modest achievements in
bills received, motions and resolution taken and attention given to other matters of urgent public importance’, adding that the Assembly has addressed various problems ranging from, procurement of equipment, refurbishing of
existing ones to installation of new facilities. Williams commended the Governor for his industrialization drive and
expressed the Assembly’s commitment to partner with the executive and judiciary to bring development to the state.
In his words, “In your first term, you concentrated on construction, expansion and development and it is our hope that in your second term you shall be exporting”. In a vote of thanks, the Leader of the House and Member representing Ogoja, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey assured that the House will soon commence the consideration of the
budget as required by law.>>>

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